Washington Works, Building a Competitive System

GOVERNOR LOCKE HAS CONTINUALLY CALLED on state employees to provide better service to Washington’s citizens for a better price. State agencies and their employees have taken that message to heart.

By empowering their employees to make decisions, and holding them accountable for results, state agencies have demonstrated real progress in everything from simplifying state regulations, continuing quality service delivery, and helping people move from welfare to work.

“Just as our successful Priorities of Government budgeting process matches the state’s financial resources with core state services, Washington Works realigns the human resources of state government with the business requirements of delivering services in the 21st century.” Governor Gary Locke, November 20, 2003

To fully achieve his vision of a high-performance government, Governor Locke won legislative approval to make the state’s civil service, contracting, and bargaining laws less cumbersome and more responsive to the needs of today’s employees and agency management. The Personnel System Reform Act, approved by the Legislature in 2002 with the strong support of state employee labor organizations, includes:

  • Reforming the civil service system—including hiring, job classification and compensation—to give managers the ability to meet changing business needs and improve employees’ opportunities for mobility in the workforce, performance recognition and career success.
  • Authorizing agencies and post-secondary education institutions to competitively contract for services with businesses and nonprofit organizations, allowing employee groups to compete for contracts.
  • Expanding collective bargaining for classified civil service employees to include wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.

Washington Works: Making a Great Workforce, Even Better

Washington Works is the Governor’s coordinated, integrated approach to implementing the Personnel System Reform Act.

Three state agencies share primary responsibility for Washington Works. The Office of Financial Management, under director Marty Brown, has primary responsibility for collective bargaining and overall project coordination. The Department of General Administration, directed by Rob Fukai, will write the rules and administer the competitive contracting process. And lead by director Gene Matt, the Department of Personnel will develop and implement the new civil service system, including the new human resource management computer system. The project currently is on schedule and moving forward rapidly.

From the new civil service system to collective bargaining to competitive contracting, the three component parts of Washington Works operate together to accomplish the goal of better government and improved service to the public. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make Washington’s high-performance government even better—for employees, citizens, and the agencies that deliver state services.

Modern Information Technology System

To support all of the Washington Works changes (Civil Service Reform, Competitive Contracting and Collective Bargaining), the state’s outdated personnel and payroll computer system is being replaced with a modern human resource management system.

Stay Informed

While most components of the law are to be in place by July 1, 2005, many important developments are happening in the near future. Keep up with the progress we're making by visiting the Washington Works web site www.washingtonworks.wa.gov

Keep up with all the latest project developments in the current issue of the Washington Works newsletter, In the Works (available on the Washington Works web site) and sign up for the HR2005 listserv to receive ongoing project updates via e-mail.

Meagan Macvie, Washington Works Communications Manager
Phone: (360) 902-0527
Fax: (360) 664-2832
E-mail: meagan.macvie@ofm.wa.gov

Chris Rose, Governor’s Executive Policy Office
Phone: (360) 902-0640
Fax: (360) 586-8380
E-mail: chris.rose@ofm.wa.gov

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